If you’ve never heard of “Babe” don’t despair. Until one millennial’s bad date erupted into the news, I thought Babe was a movie about a pig. Turns out it’s an online coffee klatch for Generations X and Y.
Katie Way’s recent post, “I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life” seems to be trying to hop onto the #metoo train.
Referred to as “Grace,” the “aggrieved” is a 22-year old aspiring photographer, anonymously drawing a blurred line around a guy and painting him as a sexual predator.
For all we know, the worst night of Grace’s life before the Ansari date was the Fourth of July in Nantucket when the fireworks got rained out.
According to Grace, events leading up to her date with Ansari were completely ordinary. They arranged to go out and their date started with a glass of wine at Ansari’s apartment.
Grace said that although she prefers red wine, Ansari served white. She did not however, voice her preference.
Ansari is neither a mind reader nor a sommelier. He might have been eager to provide her with a wine more to her liking, IF she had only made her preference known.
The wine thing sets the tone for the evening. Grace hopes that a complete stranger will know exactly what she wants, but will just go along with whatever unfolds.
What was going through Grace’s mind when she hopped up on Ansari’s kitchen counter and allowed herself to be undressed? What was she thinking when he undressed?
All she said was, “Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.” That’s a pretty ambiguous message to a guy with a boner.
Way’s story has Grace and Ansari lounging about his apartment in their birthday suits for quite a while. At one point, she performed oral sex on him simply because he suggested it.
In the 1981 movie, “Arthur” Dudley Moore plays an alcoholic, indolent billionaire. In a restaurant one night, he’s shocked to realize that he’s dining with a prostitute.
“You’re a hooker? Jesus, I forgot! I just thought I was doing GREAT with you!”
People misread situations all the time.
According to Grace, Ansari never tried to force her to do anything. She paints a picture of persistence, not abuse or criminality.
The following day Grace texted Ansari and told him that his actions made her uncomfortable. My wife’s cabbage soup makes me uncomfortable, but I don’t think that’s newsworthy.
Ansari’s answer was sincere and contrite. “Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I’m truly sorry.”
Grace and Ms. Way decided that they had a #metoo story to share. I’m here to tell them that they didn’t.
I’m sorry Grace’s date went badly. I’m sorry she was too immature, star struck or shy to make her wine preference and sexual non-availability known to her date.
Ansari didn’t assault her. He has no power over her job or her career. They were just a guy and a girl on a date and he acted the way she allowed him to act.
Attaching bad dates to the stories of women who have endured real trauma and predation is an insult to those women.
They were brave and came forward to tell their stories at great personal cost. They deserve a platform, attention and support.
A dilettante whose coach turns into a pumpkin may have to kiss a few more frogs before she finds her prince.
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